Breakfast daily, 3 Continental breakfasts, 3 brunches as provided by VIA Rail, 7 three-course dinners including a farewell dinner in Vancouver
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN TORONTO
Welcome to Toronto! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.
Day 2 TORONTO. EXCURSION TO NIAGARA FALLS
Drive along the shores of Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls. For the adventurous, your Tour Director will suggest optional flightseeing over the falls. Then, enjoy a Niagara Falls sightseeing CRUISE for a thrilling boat ride to view the thundering falls from river level. Return to Toronto for an orientation tour followed by dinner atop the 1,815-foot-tall CN TOWER. NOTE:Operation of the Niagara Falls sightseeing cruise is subject to favorable weather and/or river conditions. Favorable conditions usually exist from May to mid-October. When weather is unfavorable, a walking tour through the scenic tunnels will be substituted.
Day 3 TORONTO-VIA RAIL, THE CANADIAN–ONTARIO
This morning, transfer to Union Station for the CANADIAN, VIA Rail’s premier transcontinental train. Spend the next three days and nights on this classic trip across Canada’s heartland. Your Sleeper Plus class rail cars are refurbished art-deco cars from the 1950s. Domed observation cars let you enjoy views of the Canadian countryside as you roll past Ontario’s landscapes. All meals are included, and you won’t want to miss any of them, as the chef offers a tempting array of soups, salads, main courses, and desserts. NOTE: On VIA Rail, beds in your private cabin are arranged by day in arm chair style. By night, beds are converted to upper and lower bunkbed-style arrangement. Guests must be able to climb a ladder to reach the upper bed. NOTE: Train travel is subject to unforeseen delays.
Day 4 VIA RAIL, THE CANADIAN–ONTARIO–WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
Watch the scenic countryside from your windows as you relax in first-class refurbished art deco cars from the 1950s. Travel past the sparkling lakes and sun-dappled forests of Ontario. Try the observation dome for unparalleled views or enjoy quiet conversation in one of the comfortable lounges. Enter Manitoba with its endless golden prairies and vast cultivated fields. In the late evening, arrive in Manitoba’s capital city of Winnipeg, where you may choose to disembark the train. Reboard the train and continue west into Saskatchewan.
Day 5 VIA RAIL, THE CANADIAN–THROUGH MANITOBA & SASKATCHEWAN
Continue through the prairies and winding rivers of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. View the ever-changing landscape with ease and comfort as you meet and mingle with fellow passengers or enjoy freshly prepared meals that showcase Canadian cuisine and regional specialties.
Day 6 VIA RAIL, THE CANADIAN THROUGH SASKATCHEWAN & ALBERTA–JASPER
Travel from Saskatoon to Jasper as the train roughly parallels the famed Yellowhead Route, Canada’s historic trail of westward expansion. This afternoon, arrive in Jasper for local sightseeing. Later, enjoy an excursion to Maligne Lake for a fully-narrated CRUISE to Spirit Island. (CB,B)
Day 7 JASPER–COLUMBIA ICEFIELD–LAKE LOUISE–BANFF
This morning, travel through JASPER NATIONAL PARK on Icefields Parkway to the 750-foot-thick Columbia Icefield for a thrilling ICE EXPLORER RIDE. Climb Sunwapta Pass to savor stunning vistas of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and massive glaciers. Next, stop at Lake Louise, whose green-blue waters form a perfect mirror reflection of Mount Victoria. Continue into BANFF NATIONAL PARK.
Day 8 BANFF
Today, the morning’s sightseeing includes the Bow River and Falls. The rest of the day is at leisure. Consider an optional helicopter flightseeing trip for a bird’s-eye view of the Rockies.
Day 9 BANFF–KELOWNA
This morning, travel through the spectacular beauty of Yoho National Park, one of Canada’s most popular recreational areas and site of pre-Cambrian fossil finds. On to Canada’s Glacier National Park, where the motorcoach climbs 4,379-foot-high Rogers Pass, a perfect spot for photos of the surrounding mountain cliffs and glaciers. Continue to the resort city of Kelowna, attractively set on the shores of Okanagan Lake. The evening is at leisure.
Day 10 KELOWNA–VICTORIA
Catch a BC FERRY to Vancouver Island and the very British “Garden City” of Victoria. Upon arrival, visit world-famous BUTCHART GARDENS. Later, your orientation tour of Victoria includes the gardens of Beacon Hill Park, the Fairmont Empress Hotel, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park. Over dessert this evening, enjoy a private PRESENTATION with a local storyteller and historian who will entertain you with stories of the city’s interesting characters and colorful events.
Day 11 VICTORIA
Today is at leisure for independent sightseeing and shopping. Your Tour Director suggests an optional wildlife and whale-watching trip. For shoppers, Government Street’s elegant shops and Market Square’s collection of specialty stores are good places to start. History buffs should be sure to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many restaurants in this harbor city.
Day 12 VICTORIA–VANCOUVER
This morning, take the BC FERRY and sail through the Gulf Islands, an archipelago known for its Mediterranean-type climate. Arrive in Vancouver for a city tour that includes the harbor and beaches, Chinatown, historic Gastown, and Stanley Park with its towering evergreen forests and totem poles. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner.
Day 13 VANCOUVER (EMBARKATION)
Embark Holland America’s MS Nieuw Amsterdam.
Day 14 SCENIC CRUISING: INSIDE PASSAGE
Sit back and relax as you cruise through the beautiful and awe-inspiring scenery of the Inside Passage. Keep your cameras ready for spouting whales, soaring eagles, barking seals, and other wildlife.
Day 15 TRACY ARM & JUNEAU
This narrow, 26-mile-long fjord is another of Alaska’s most dramatic glacier settings. The lush rainforest recedes to reveal a stunning canyon of bare rock. The panorama of 7,000-foot mountain peaks and nearly vertical rock cliffs is astounding. Waterfalls appear at every turn. Icebergs make their way to the sea in all sorts of wondrous shapes. And tucked away at the end of this remarkable waterway are two very active reminders of the Ice Age—the twin Sawyer Glaciers, which calve icebergs into the jade-colored inland sea. Kittiwakes, mountain goats, and seals are a common sight. Whales and bears may even make an appearance in this magical place. Visit one of the most remote capital cities—Juneau. Accessible only by air and water, Juneau is located at the base of two towering mountains in the heart of Alaska’s Inside Passage, and is home to a rich Gold Rush history, Native culture, wildlife, and a wealth of natural wonders. Shop for gold nuggets, visit the stately Governor’s Mansion, saunter through the swinging doors of the historic Red Dog Saloon, or visit mighty Mendenhall Glacier, an impressive river of ice that is 12 miles long and 1.5 miles wide.
Day 16 SKAGWAY
Once a major port for gold prospectors who passed through en route to the Yukon, today you can still ride the antique White Pass & Yukon Route narrow-gauge railway up past Deadhorse Gulch to see what it was like ages ago. Step back in time as you stroll the wooden sidewalks of the town, preserved as a U.S. National Historic Park.
Day 17 SCENIC CRUISING: GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK
This Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site protects a unique ecosystem in an ever-changing glacial landscape. Witness the spectacle of thunder and flying spray as huge slabs of ice break off and “calve” into the sea—making for lasting memories. National Park rangers accompany the ship, adding expert commentary to the day’s events.
Day 18 KETCHIKAN
Experience Native Alaska firsthand. Meet the spirits of the raven, whale, and eagle as you view the largest collection of totems in the world at Saxman Totem Park or Totem Bight State Historic Park. Or, explore Creek Street, now home to contemporary art galleries and quaint boutiques.
Day 19 SCENIC CRUISING: INSIDE PASSAGE
Take a second spin through Alaska’s Inside Passage to enjoy the spectacular contrast from wide bays of still waters and barrier islands to narrow waterways edged with towering forested cliffs.
Day 20 VANCOUVER (DISEMBARKATION)
The vacation ends this morning with guests departing on individual schedules. Please schedule flights after Noon.